SYDNEY, AAP – Australian shares were trading a little higher at noon with mining stocks continuing their good run helping offset losses elsewhere.

The market was up about 0.2 per cent by midday on Thursday after positive US economic data helped Wall Street close mostly higher overnight.

The benchmark S&P/ASX200 index was up 12.3 points, or 0.16 per cent, to 7411.7 points.

The All Ordinaries was higher by 16 points, or 0.20 per cent, to 7741.5 points.

Fortescue Metals continued a ripping week and was higher by about 3.5 per cent to $18.18 at 1200 AEDT.

Shares in the iron ore exporter have gained more than 13 per cent in the past three sessions on signs an economic stimulus is likely for its biggest market, China.

The more diversified miners, BHP and Rio Tinto, each rose more than one per cent.

Technology shares were the top performers after the Nasdaq closed higher. Afterpay climbed 3.37 per cent to $110.87.

NAB shares were nearly unchanged at $28.45 despite the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission clearing its purchase of Citigroup’s consumer business.

The bank will gain a substantial credit card business after the regulator found there was plenty of competition, including from buy now, pay later providers.

The other major banks were also slack with Commonwealth Bank the biggest mover, dropping 0.79 per cent to $96.41.

Among big gainers, EML Payments shares surged after better news on a money-laundering probe into its Irish subsidiary.

Ireland’s central bank will allow the subsidiary to sign new customers and not impose onerous restrictions although PFS Card Services will have to limit payment volumes and make other changes to prevent money-laundering.

EML shares were up 23.27 per cent to $3.39.

Adairs shares were up 4.67 per cent to $3.58 after it bought retailer Focus on Furniture for $80 million.

Focus on Furniture had sales of more than $150 million last financial year and trades in Australia and New Zealand.

Ampol shares were down 0.53 per cent to $30.47 after it announced the sale of 20 petrol stations to an unlisted property trust for $48 million.

Ampol will have a 51 per cent stake in the trust and Charter Hall will have 49 per cent.

The energy provider also intends to issue subordinated notes in the wholesale fixed income market to help fund the purchase of Z Energy.

BCI Minerals rose almost 10 per cent to 50 cents after the Western Australian government approved its Mardie Salt and Potash project.

Construction of the project on the west Pilbara coast will begin next year along with a $360 million capital raising.

Meanwhile, the Australian dollar was buying 72.06 US cents at 1200 AEDT, slightly lower from 72.10 US cents at Wednesday’s close.